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Five Tips to Prevent Winter Falls for Indiana Seniors

February 11, 2016

Five Tips to Prevent Winter Falls for Indiana Seniors

It’s sometimes referred to as the most wonderful time of the year, but winter can be a dangerous season for your Indiana senior loved ones. While the snow fall and icicles may shine brightly, they present serious hazards for older adults.

According to Learn Not to Fall, more than half of aging adults over the age of 80 will experience a fall. Injuries resulting from a fall, such as a fractured hip, are the leading cause of disability in older adults. While not all falls lead to serious injuries, 47 percent of seniors who take a tumble cannot get up without assistance.

Caregivers should always be proactive in their approach to preventing a senior loved one from falling, especially with the added hazards of winter.

Winter Fall Prevention Tips for Indiana Seniors

These winter safety tips can help you keep an older adult you love safe:

  • Plan Ahead: Seniors should allow themselves plenty of extra time to travel to doctor’s appointments, church and other destinations during the winter months. Rushing around can contribute to falls.
  • Ask for Help: Encourage your senior loved one to ask for and wait for help to arrive. Trying to go it alone during snowy weather can significantly increase the odds for a fall. If your aging loved one doesn’t want to “burden” you, remind them how much tougher it will be for you if something happens to them.
  • Get a Check-Up: It’s smart to schedule regular doctor visits to identify and intervene in potential problems early. According to the Mayo Clinic, treatable health conditions, such as low blood pressure, diabetes, and ear infections, can increase a senior’s fall risk.
  • Remove Snow As Soon As Possible: Caregivers can help prevent their senior loved one from falling by clearing snow from sidewalks, driveways and porches for them. If you aren’t able to and they can’t afford to pay for snow removal services, call their local agency on aging. They often have resources that can help.
  • Start an Exercise Routine: According to CDC guidelines, an older adult’s exercise plan should aim for 150 minutes of moderately vigorous cardio per week. They also recommend light strength training twice a week to increase stability. Tai Chi, Chair Yoga, swimming and walking are all good senior-friendly forms of exercise.

Winter’s cold temperatures and elements including ice and snow present plenty of hazards, like more falls. By following these prevention tips, you can decrease the chance of your senior loved one taking a terrifying tumble this season.

To learn more about caregiving and successful aging, we invite you to follow our Indiana Resources Blog. We share new research and helpful information several times each week.